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The War of the Worlds (1953)

Approved | | Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller | 26 August 1953 (USA)
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A small town in California is attacked by Martians.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
Reviews
Won 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Robert Cornthwaite ...
Dr. Pryor (as Bob Cornthwaite)
Sandro Giglio ...
Lewis Martin ...
Houseley Stevenson Jr. ...
Gen. Mann's Aide (as Housely Stevenson Jr.)
Paul Frees ...
Second Radio Reporter / Opening Announcer
...
Wash Perry (as Bill Phipps)
Vernon Rich ...
...
Cop at Crash Site
...
...
Commentary (voice) (as Sir Cedric Hardwicke)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Cliff Clark ...
Australian Policeman (scenes deleted)
Rudy Lee ...
Boy (scenes deleted)
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Storyline

H.G. Well's classic novel is brought to life in this tale of alien invasion. The residents of a small town in California are excited when a flaming meteor lands in the hills. Their joy is tempered somewhat when they discover that it has passengers who are not very friendly. The movie itself is understood better when you consider that it was made at the height of the Cold War--just replace Martian with Russian.... Written by KC Hunt <khunt@eng.morgan.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

They came to CONQUER the EARTH! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

26 August 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Kampf der Welten  »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording) (5.0) (L-R)

Color:

(Technicolor)| (newsreel archive footage before opening credits)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The key to the success of this film is Pal's decision to use life-size models rather than miniatures or Harryhausen's stop motion puppets. With the large size models he was able to get incredibly realistic, life-like movement that couldn't be achieved any other way, and up until this point, never had. This presented quite a bit of a challenge in getting the double exposure of the acetylene torches that he used as the cobra-head's ray to match the head's movement. Look carefully in scenes where the machines are shooting and moving at the same time. You will see one of the the cobra head pointed down while the ray is shooting straight ahead; in another shot, the ray shoots to the (screen's) right, but by the time the ray stops, the cobra head is already turned forward and dropped. In one shot the ray seems like it's coming not from the center of the red lens, but off to the side, possibly even from the edge of the head structure and not the lens. Despite these slight imperfections, this was considered a great achievement for SciFi in the 50s. See more »

Goofs

During the street-panic scene in downtown Los Angeles, as Dr. Forrester frantically inquires about the Pacific Tech trucks, his face is bleeding and bruised. After running across some deserted streets, another close-up shows his face is clear. Later on, he's shown with bruises on his face that aren't bleeding. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Radio Reporter: [voiceover] In the First World War, and for the first time in the history of man, nations combined to fight against nations using the crude weapons of those days. The Second World War involved every continent on the globe, and men turned to science for new devices of warfare, which reached an unparalleled peak in their capacity for destruction. And now, fought with the terrible weapons of super-science, menacing all mankind and every creature on the Earth comes the War of the Worlds.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Fantasy Film Worlds of George Pal (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

Flop-Eared Mule (Without Calls)
(uncredited)
Written by Zip Wilson
Performed by Zip Wilson
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
One word describes this classic - VIVID
2 May 2000 | by (indianapolis, IN) – See all my reviews

For it's day; and, even this day, this is classic, almost perfect, masterpiece. Brilliant design work on the alien ships, incredible sound effects, and sharp, vivid colors. Pacing in this film is tight, and Barry's performance as a scientist in giddy awe of the alien's capabilities is masterful. Finally, the realism of the story telling is unrivalled in most modern science fiction films. All right, it's not true to Wells' original, but what's wrong with updating the story, especially when it is this effective.


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